It’s well worth reading the Communications Act 2003, and the role given in legislation to Ofcom
"It shall be the principal duty of OFCOM, in carrying out their functions—
(a)to further the interests of citizens in relation to communications matters; and
(b)to further the interests of consumers in relevant markets, where appropriate by promoting competition."
Which is later qualified:
“citizens” means all members of the public in the United Kingdom;
“communications matters” means the matters in relation to which OFCOM have functions;
[F4“end-to-end connectivity” has the meaning given by section 74(3);]
“general duties”, in relation to OFCOM, means—
(a) their duties under subsections (1) to (5); and
(b) the duty which, under section 107(5), is to rank equally for the purposes of subsections (6) and (7) with their duties under this section;
“relevant markets” means markets for any of the services, facilities, apparatus or directories in relation to which OFCOM have functions.
It’s clear that Ofcom has not been advocating or representing the interests of citizens, and only the interests of consumers. So for those who are not considered economically active, or who are socially insecure, and are not able to engage in consumer-type activity, Ofcom is making no provision for universal access o services.
For example, the present push for Small Scale DAB is predicated on the basis that Ofcom think that £20 for a receiver is affordable, while not taking into account the power requirements, the reception limitations, the portability, or the availability of DAB sets.
There is still a high demand from community radio stations for use of FM and AM frequencies, and Ofcom is shutting this down by forcing through SSDAB.
We have a chance to challenge this in the Work-Plan consultation and insist that Ofcom re-opens FM and AM licencing.
Who else should we invite to take part in this discussion?